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Posted in: Herniated disc, Neck pain, and Surgery.

30 year old with cervical spine issues

Started by abezspineissues on 05/16/2018 4:13pm

Hello all. Let me start by telling my story. I am a 30 year old male who owned a junkyard and now a body shop. I have been doing this for about what? 6-7 years? Maybe more. I haven't done anymore heavy lifting since the junkyard business. Id say I am a little above average for my height. I am 6'1 220 pounds. I do admit I do need to live a healthier lifestyle (i use to lift weights and workout in my younger days) but now with a family it is really hard to find.

March 27 2018. I had a good friend/customer come in and replace the airbags in his vehicle. In that time, he told me that he disconnected the battery (as youre suppose to while messing with airbags) and was ready to take out the module. I was leaning forward while standing from the driver side and low and behold the roof airbag deployed into my lower back. I decided against seeing a doctor because there was a bruise and pain for maybe a day or two but after that, it disappeared.

Fast forward to April 17 2018. I woke up that morning with horrible pain in my shoulder. I swore I must have spent the whole day thinking "how did I separate my shoulder?" It was horrible. I had to travel that day as well to a city about and hour and a half away. I cried a few times during the drive because the pain was just so much. The next morning I "woke up" (couldn't really sleep honestly) and while I was showering I felt needles and pins in my middle finger and index finger and also throughout my whole right arm. This was it for me. I called my PCP who automatically referred me to a orthopedic specialist as she thought it could have been something in my arm (perhaps carpal tunnel or bicep tendinitis). X ray and testing resulted in the diagnosis of "cervical radiculopathy." I have never heard this term before so it was something really new to me. I asked the doctor to explain and he did. He prescribed me a week dosing pack of steroids to see what happens then. Well...nothing happened. I experienced the same pain and numbness/needles pins feel. He scheduled me an MRI in which I went to. The MRI report stated that disc spaces between C2-C5 were all normal. C5-C6 showed left lateral recess disc herniation which mildly displaced the dural sac. But at C6-C7 i had right lateral recess herniation and the dural sac and my spinal cord are displaced along with right neuroforamina stenotic. C7-T1 space was normal and the cervical spine was normal was well as stated on the MRI report.

On May 15 2018 I went to a spine specialist who is also a surgeon. He said he looked at my MRI and my report and said I had 2 options. First was an epidural steriod shot into my neck which would relieve some pain but he said would only last for about 2 months because the MRI showed the disc herniation being very aggressive. Second option was surgery which he advised due to the compression on my nerves which could lead to permanent nerve damage thru my arm (triceps, elbow).

I received 2nd and 3rd opinions with my MRI and they advised surgery as well. But I am so concerned. I feel like I am too young for all this stuff. I am simply scared. Essentially what I am wondering is...are my concerns valid?

Sorry for the long story and thank you for whoever reads and can help me out.

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I forgot to add that the Surgery is called Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF for short).

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